Yoga Day Fourteen – Intense Side Stretch

Today was my first day practicing at a new studio.  I am keeping my original studio as my home base and exploring other classes at two different studios to follow several teachers I love. (Post on teachers coming this weekend.)  I did not expect the studio to be as warm and PACKED as it was, so I was literally deluged with sweat as though I had witch water.  But when I met Parsvottanasana, for maybe the second time today, I was so happy we were twisting in a standing pose where I generally feel stronger.

This is a yummy, although long and hard to hold pose, if you go through all the permutations to the ta-da! at the end.  I loved the pull on my shoulders as they can back and down.  It is as wonderful as the difficult, but delicious and ever challenging triangle.

According to Iyengar in Light on Yoga, the name “implies a pose in which the side of the chest is stretched intensely.”  I think this requires a little play with the legs, opening the chest, and balancing the hips, before folding forward.  My teachers have a special genius for getting the foundation of the pose set before “melting” into it.   I’m not sure if its clear from the picture, but the shoulders go inside the legs, which opens and pulls the side.

And then you pull up and bend your back, open your heart, and stretch.   At the same time, like the triangle, the straight leg stretch gives your hips and hamstrings a great stretch, and all the while, your shoulders are pulling together and down.

It was a great practice and a great pose!   And then I managed a couple more headstands tonight at home in my kitchen.  Hoping for some rain yoga tomorrow!



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